Chevalier attempts the ultimate in competition.
It centres on six men on a fishing trip in the Aegean Sea who, with a lot of time to kill, decide to play a game to find who out of them is ‘The Best In General’. The winner will receive a Chevalier signet ring.
Before it even starts, we see they do like a bit of one-up-man-ship whether it’s holding their breath, or using a rowing machine, but the challenges they set to decide the winner result in the most ridiculous and trivial they can think of, including judging one’s stripey underwear, to how they clean the boat, scoring each other on every last thing they do, however annoying they are to each other.
The film starts off strong, but slows down in the second third, and then rather meanders for a time, as this nonsensical and ill-defined set of challenges goes on. It’s certainly worth a watch, as there are a number of segments with enjoyable humour in how they interplay, but it does feel very uneven as a whole.
However, the way it comes to a conclusion, specifically with the final boat scene, is not what I was expecting.
When I saw this film, I assumed it was a 15-certificate, so I was very surprised to realise it was an 18. The BBFC site states why, but I’ve also listed the reasons below, and I’ll wrap a spoiler heading round them if you want to avoid them (it doesn’t give away who wins, though, so hardly huge spoilers), but everything here was all in good humour, as opposed to trying to hurt someone.
The film is presented in the original 2.35:1 widescreen theatrical ratio and is in 1080p high definition, and the print is fine, albeit feels a little hazy. I’m not sure if this is down to the filming process, but I just didn’t feel wowed by it.
The sound is in 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and while I remember a brief bit of split-surround effects on the boat when seagulls are flying about, there was nothing else that stood out. But you know you’re not expecting a special effects movie.
What I also wasn’t expecting was a complete lack of extras. That’s a real shame. Deleted scenes? Interviews? They must be there somewhere?!
The main menu mixes some subtle animation of the characters with a brief clip of the main theme (so brief that it restarts after about 30 seconds – couldn’t they just let it last the whole song?), subtitles are in English and there’s a bog-standard 12 chapters. I prefer one every 5 minutes, which would come to 21.
Running time: 105 minutes
Released: November 14th 2016
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Anamorphic Hawk Scope)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Athina Rachel Tsangari
Producers: Maria Hatzakou and Christos V Konstantakopoulos
Screenplay: Efthymis Filippou and Athina Rachel Tsangari
The Doctor: Yiorgos Kendros
Yorgos: Panos Koronis
Josef: Vangelis Mourikis
Dimitris: Efthymis Papadimitriou
Yannis: Giorgos Pyrpassopoulos
Christos: Sakis Rouvas
Skype Woman: Katerina Vrana